Meet Ashley Grohoski, Our Featured Volunteer from New York City!
Get to know our volunteers!
Do you volunteer at a specific hospital? Yes, NYU Langone Orthopedic
How long have you been volunteering with Musicians On Call? Actually coming up on my one year anniversary
Are you a volunteer guide or musician? Guide
Do you have any hidden talents? On the evenings I’m actually home I enjoy nerding out over computer coding…does that count?
What is your story? What connects you with music and why do you volunteer with MOC? When I was younger, my dad had a habit of calling his long-distance family whenever their favorite song came on the radio; he would set the phone by the speaker the entire time. I think it was the easiest way of communicating how much he missed them. At any rate, I wanted music and community to continue to play a big role in my life. I got the opportunity three years ago to work at Megaforce Records, and somehow they are still putting up with me. I think the obvious connection with music and visiting hospitals through MOC came from when I was younger. My grandfather (who was a pastor) would take me with him to visit patients, just sitting, chatting and laughing, so I just grew comfortable with that environment. I recently found MOC and realized both worlds could collide for me.
Has your life changed because of your experience with MOC? Yes, which is why I tell all of my musicians friends to get involved. There have already been too many unforgettable moments.
What makes MOC different from your other volunteer experiences? It’s a pretty raw experience. You really get outside of yourself when volunteering for MOC. It’s really about establishing the moment and being present with the patient, which I think is a good practice to learn anyway with others.
What is your favorite #MOCmoment? There a was potential skepticism coming from a patient when we entered his room. When the MOC musician began to play some jazz, you could just see the patient’s face light up. After the song was over, he brought his cassette (yes, cassette) player onto his lap and played us his favorite jazz musician and began to enlighten us about what the jazz scene looked like long before us. I enjoyed being in the nostalgic moment with him, even briefly.